Left to right: James Macleavey, Press Operator; Stephen McGahan, Plant Manager; Christian Contreras, Master Scheduler, BPG Components; Robert Marasia, Press Operator.
Kennesaw, Ga. – One year after investing in a new Speedmaster XL 106-6P+L from HEIDELBERG, BPG USA, one of publishing’s premier book printers, has improved many of its productivity metrics including increased net output and reduction in makeready time and waste. The press, complete with the most up to date Speedmaster technology and Prinect Inpress Control 3, was purchased with HEIDELBERG’s Subscription Smart plan, which means BPG USA pays a fixed monthly rate for an agreed “pay-per-outcome” print volume and has access to HEIDELBERG’s comprehensive Performance and Consulting services. Since installation, HEIDELBERG’s Performance Team, together with BPG USA, has maximized press productivity by analyzing the company’s KPIs, processes, and benchmark data and identifying areas for improvement.
Commitment to Excellence
BPG USA’s newest XL 106, which produces covers, jackets, and inserts for book production, replaced several older presses at its Hicksville, NY plant. “Optimization is the key word for us,” said Christof Ludwig, CEO of BPG USA. “When replacing several presses with one machine, you want to ensure that you’re going to see significant improvements to overall productivity and efficiency.” Since initiating monthly calls and on-site visits with HEIDELBERG’s Performance Experts, the company has seen a consistent increase in net output, reduction in makeready time, and higher operator engagement. A significant driver for these improvements was the process optimization plan HEIDELBERG developed to get materials in and out of the press area, which helped maximize press uptime.
“Our ultimate goal in increasing our efficiencies,” said Jorge Velasco, President and COO of BPG USA, “is contributing to our customers’ overall satisfaction, so we can provide consistent on-time delivery and high-quality products.”
The company has also been able to significantly decrease its makeready times as a result of a two-week Makeready Workshop that HEIDELBERG conducted with BPG USA’s team. The workshop was key in discovering several processes that were slowing down production. The result was the development of a Makeready Script, which is posted on the press and works as a guide to continually improve the process. “What was most remarkable,” said Velasco, “is that the HEIDELBERG team worked side-by-side with our press crews to identify each barrier we were experiencing and provide a fix for each one.”
In addition to optimizing internal processes, the advanced technology and automation capabilities of the new press has contributed to the company’s overall productivity improvements. With the latest Speedmaster technology, including Push to Stop and the new Heidelberg User Experience, the press team at BPG USA can preload job specifications into the press in batches, and the press automatically sets the ink keys and adjusts the press accordingly at the start of each new job, which saves the operators’ time and increases output. Prinect Inpress Control 3 also automatically measures and controls color and registers on the fly. “The speed at which the press reaches constant and on point color has been critical to increasing our production efficiency and reducing our waste as compared to other presses in our plant,” said Velasco.
Installed in June 2022, the XL 106 was the first press that BPG USA purchased via HEIDELBERG’s Subscription Smart. According to Velasco, the collaboration between his team and HEIDELBERG’s team has been key to meeting all of the company’s productivity goals. “Compared to other installations, the attention and commitment from the HEIDELBERG team has been second to none,” he said. The company has further boosted its efficiency by adding a Vendor Managed Inventory program for its consumables, which has reduced material obsolescence and ensures BPG USA always has the supplies it needs, when it needs them. “Our experience with Subscription Smart has been nothing but positive,” said Velasco. “The speed of response on maintenance issues is incredibly fast. The HEIDELBERG Team, especially our Key Account Manager Marc Spitzlei, is committed to excellence and just as passionate as we are about achieving the objectives we’ve jointly set.”